This is just a stream of consciousness post acting as a post mortem to my first game, ᴘᴏʟʏ ᴘᴏʟʏ ᴘᴏʟʏ celebrating the (hopefully) last big update for the game, which adds a tutorial character to help people get a better grasp on certain things. (especially that custom menu... LOL)
I am seriously still shell shocked at the reception of that game, it's very exciting and flattering all at once. I've been a member of this community since 2005, or since I was 6 years old. This website encompasses my essence for my drive towards the arts. It shaped my childhood and gave me a deep appreciation for voice acting, music, art, animation and filmmaking.
Since that age, my dream was always to make it to front page. I picked up a copy of the Flash MX 2004 Bible from my local library in Fort McMurray when I was 9 when my mom pointed it out to me, since I was looking for books to get into animation. I went on to get into film making, animation and game design from that age and have never stopped exploring all of these avenues since. I was always tinkering in Flash 8, creating little stupid demos and garbage that would always get blammed, and if it wasn't getting blammed, it was due to my friends supporting me at the time who thought it was very cool that I was tech savvy at a young age.
I never got around to making anything big in my life. I was always stuck in that classic mentality most new artists struggle with, which is releasing your first thing, regardless of the quality of it. So to cope I just kept learning and making small demos to show off the concepts I was always learning.
I'll stop there on that subject for now, since I don't wanna write a book no one wants to read. Moving onto COVID. As with most people, I too went through a lot, really considering what I wanted to do with my life up to that point. I'm still a young adult at the age of 23 and still have lots of time to figure that out luckily. So I decided to take the initiative to finally properly learn programming at the end of 2021. I got pretty decent, but I found myself at that same roadblock again, tinkering and making demos but never making something fully realized.
That would finally come to an end in October 2022. When by some very lucky circumstances, I found myself in a voice chat with the very talented KOLANI. They had persuaded me through the talks of Ruffle being in very active development, Newgrounds being more alive and amazing than it's ever been and opening up with my familiarity with Flash 8, to pick up ActionScript 2 seriously and really try to make something with it. So that October I read and finished Flash Game Programming for Dummies by Andy Harris, which if you're interested in learning game development with ActionScript 2, I couldn't recommend more.
Once I finished that book, I got to that point once again of not really having any ideas. I NEARLY resorted back to the good old demo making and tinkering I was so familiar with, but I had made the realization earlier that I would just find myself in the same rut. With this, I came up with a rudimentary and simpler version of ᴘᴏʟʏ ᴘᴏʟʏ ᴘᴏʟʏ that I wrote down on paper, which included a small paper diagram and a description of how an earlier version of the game would play. I didn't think I had it in me both technically and mentally to finish this, as I've come to know in more recent years that my ADHD has been playing a big factor in constantly halting my progress in creating things. I decided that this was it. I wasn't going to let that or anything else stop me, and I would really try to finish implementing everything on that piece of paper into a real flash game.
Come November 20th 2022, it happened. I made everything that I had wanted to make from the original design document into a real game. I felt amazing. I went to work everyday with a new sense of meaning and energy I had never felt before. I finally made something with my own two hands, no tutorials, no help, just me and a design document I wrote.
Friends of mine were playing it and enjoying it thoroughly, throwing suggestions left, right and center. With this new found ambition of mine, I felt invincible, so I started implementing everything they were throwing at me into the game. Soon after I figured out that with enough time, there was nothing that I couldn't add that they asked me to . Wanting to avoid scope creep, I eventually decided on a hard release date of December 31st 2022.
With the major help of close friends and great lads of mine, CabinetCat with ideas and UI design and KOLANI with art for backgrounds and other elements, and so many other people I listed in the credits, the game came out for the release date I had planned for! When I uploaded it that day, I was so exhilarated, I felt pretty much high the entire day just from the adrenaline rush of actually making my first game! At this point, my goal was to hope the game didn't get blamed, and if that didn't happen, have maybe 100 random people play it.
I'm at a new years party that night, and I check my phone...
Daily 2nd!!!!! (I took screenshot and picture to celebrate!)
I crash that night back home after celebrating with friends. I wake up the next morning to this.
FRONT MOTHER FUCKING PAGE BABYYYYYY!!!!!! And the views are WAY beyond the 100 mark!!
I thought that by not taking the initiative when I was younger and making flash games and animations, that was it, Newgrounds wouldn't be alive 10 plus years later and my chances were gone. I was wrong. My life felt so complete. I'd thought that this was going to be a long and grueling journey to get to this point. But here we are. I can't really put into words how I still feel, but know that I just can't think of the words to describe how happy and positive I feel after this whole experience. (Also, I learned that FUCKING TOM FULP PLAYED MY GAME!!! WE LOVE YOU TOM!!)
I've gone on to patch the game up a little bit since, fixing bugs and adding new features such as the little tutorial character designed by KOLANI. I will continue to support the game if any issues arise, but I am very happy to call the game in it's current state... complete. :)
The journey is not over, this is only the start. My whole experience with this has done nothing but motivate me to no end to strive and continue working on my next game. This has been a fantastic start to my journey and I greatly look forward to my future endeavors. None of this would have been possible without the community over here at Newgrounds. For being amazing, supportive, kind and lovely people. My heart goes out to you all, and especially to lad who pushed me, KOLANI, and to Tom Fulp for creating, supporting and maintaining such an excellent website.
If you've made it here, thank you so much for reading my little story here. And remember, this is only the beginning.